The History of April Fools’ Day

The History of April Fools Day

Noah Larson, Journalist

The day that many people play pranks on others is known as April Fools’ Day, and this is usually a very fun day for everyone. People will usually say ” April Fools” after they play a prank or a hoax on somebody. The history of this day is surrounded by mystery since no one knows the exact date when it started but there are a couple of theories about it.

The first theory that people believe that the history of the day started is from a festival that was held in Rome. This festival is known as Hilaria and it means joyful in Latin. This day was usually held at the end of March and it was celebrated by the followers of the cult of Cybele. On this day people would dress up in disguises and mock fellow citizens of Rome. This day has been said to be inspired by and Egyptian myth.

Another theory that people had was that April Fools’ Day is tied to the vernal equinox. They believe this because this is where the weather is unpredictable. This is where they start to say that Mother Nature is fooling them, so this is why people thought this is the reason we have this day.

Another theory that many historians believe in is that we got this day in 1582 when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.  The Julian calendar said that the new year started with the spring equinox which is around April 1. With this, if the people of this era were slow to recognize that the new year starts in January they were the butt of jokes and hoaxes at the time. People would put paper fish on the others and this meant that they were gullible.

The tradition of April Fools’ Day would spread throughout Britain in the 18 century, and Scottland would also have fun on this day. The people of Scottland would send people to hunt a thing called the gowk, and this word also means fool and people would not even know as they hunted for this person. People would laugh at these gullible people, and after this day the Scottish would have a day called Tailie Day and on this day people would play pranks on others like putting kick-me signs on their backs.

As we can see this day has a very interesting history where people of all cultures have fun by playing pranks on people.